KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Banged up to enter the Major League Soccer season, Real Salt Lake is back to full strength following a three-month league suspension.
“In the first two matches, they were playing guys out of position because a lot of their attacking players were either hurt or coming back from being hurt,” Alex Vejar, Real Salt Lake beat writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, said.
Injuries forced forward Giuseppe Rossi and new edition Justin Meram into limited roles in RSL first matches of the 2020 campaign. Vejar said he believes the club is now healthy with plenty of time to get more creative in the final third of the field.
“In terms of positionally, I think a lot of things are going to change,” Vejar said. “I am interested to see how the players that were hurt at the beginning of the season and didn’t get very many minutes, how they’re going to fare.”
RSL finished last in the league in 2019 with only 118 corner kicks created. It’s a challenge placed on the desk of first year Head Coach Freddy Juarez.
Previewing @SportingKC's Group D draw with RSL beat writer Alex Vejar, who says the @realsaltlake attack will be rehabbed and retooled for Orlando.#MLSisBack | @41actionnews | @AlexVReporting pic.twitter.com/84pxKJ3AEU— Aaron Ladd (@aaronladd0) June 21, 2020
“It’s a good locker room, a lot better than it was last year, guys are motivated," Vejar said. "It’s a confident group and they really like Freddy as a coach, and they have a lot of resilience defensively.”
RSL meets Kansas City, Colorado and Minnesota in Group D, the trio of which are a perfect 6-0-0 before the mid-March suspension. Salt Lake managed a pair of points on two draws.
The #MLSisBack Tournament kicks off July 8 at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.